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By Staff | Mar 23, 2009

Agriculture, a diverse assembly of men and women, young and old, from all different types of farms, with various goals and situations totally devoted to producing and

Growing food, fiber and fuel for our city cousins and the nations throughout the world. Food that is necessary to sustain life, fiber for clothing and shelter, fuel that helps us maintain our independence.

Relying on a network of people not limited to the finance industry, Extension service, grain elevators, marketers, livestock sale barns, packers, processors, manufacturers of farm supplies and implements, truckers and rail to ship their products to their

Intended destinations. The raw materials provide jobs for myriads of people and the beginnings of pharmaceutical products, adhesives, textiles, synthetics, paper and paints to name a few.

Combining the latest modern farming techniques with what has worked in the past to grow crops and livestock with the highest nutrition and in the safest, most efficient manner possible.

United in this noble profession, but working as individuals on our diverse farms, growing crops that include cotton, dairy, grain, honey, meat, nuts, timber and vegetables, just to name a few. Knowing full well how our lives are intertwined with how ours neighbors are doing, Always with a

Love and respect for the land. Realizing that we borrow it from our children and God. Desiring to leave the land in better shape than it was when it was given to us. As it yields forth its fruit, we nurture and tend to its needs. Often times the land we farm is the same land great grandpa homesteaded and farmed with horses. It was his greatest pleasure to pass it done to his children.

True to our heritage, we farm families still have that same hope and desire. As we cannot separate our way of working out our livelihood from breathing and living. It’s ever present, in our conversations, in the mail we receive, the agriculture based newspapers and magazines, the radio station with that gives the best markets. Ever present, always there. In today’s tough economic times, we face

Unspeakable challenges that seem to want to destroy the very work we do with increasing, stricter government regulations, misconstrued beliefs about agriculture, radical ideas that come from well-fed people that have no clue what it takes to put food on the table. Undaunted and

Ready still to the work we have been called to do. To feed the multitudes so that in their time on earth others can follow their chosen pursuits that help mankind. Humbly we bow in prayer to acknowledge with the Psalmist, that the

Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Vander Schaaf is a Farm News staff writer from northwest Iowa. Reach her by e-mail at suncrest@netllcwb.net

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